Low Cost Carrier AirAsia is turning Chiang Rai into a new air gateway with the launch of international services from next January. It will be the seventh gateway of the airline in Thailand.
AirAsia Thailand (previously Thai AirAsia) is serving for over 15 years the route linking Bangkok to Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand. But the carrier is now looking to turn Chiang Rai into its latest hub, offering a range of new international and domestic routes.
AirAsia will introduce a direct service from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang Rai, Thailand. Operated by AirAsia Thailand (carrier code FD), the Kuala Lumpur-Chiang Rai service will be available four times weekly from 31 January 2019.
AirAsia will also be adding three new direct routes from Chiang Rai to Phuket, Singapore and Macao, as the carrier wants to build Chiang Rai into a northern Thailand hub to spur both tourism and investment. “We chose the 3 international destinations of Macau, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur because they already account for a strong amount of visitors to Thailand who will likely be interested in Chiang Rai. Domestically, we chose Phuket to offer the best possible regional connection,” highlighted AirAsia Thailand CEO Santisuk Klongchaiya.
Klongchaiya declared during the routes announcement that “Chiang Rai has both the capacity and potential for tourism growth with its unique art and culture as well as beautiful natural scenery. With attractions such as Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple, Baan Dam Museum, Rong Seur Ten Temple, Mae Fah Luang Garden and Doi Tung Royal Palace, the province caters to a variety of travel styles while being capable of accommodating a high volume of visitors. With Tham Luang Cave gaining attention worldwide, the province is well positioned to attract tourists as well as investors.”
To celebrate the new route launch, AirAsia is offering a special promotional all-in member’s fare until December 30 2018 for travel between 31 January 2019 and 4 February 2020.
The new routes out of Chiang Rai will only be served by AirAsia Thailand – except for the route Bangkok to Phuket which is already served by competitor Thai Vietjet.However, Thai Vietjet flies from Suvarnabhumi airport while AirAsia is operating out of Don Mueang airport.